The irony of this article is that it was almost a year ago to this day that I was exiting the worst relationship of my life.
Before I come off jaded and immature, I can say we were both too deeply entrenched in our attachment styles, and the damage had taken its course.
Me primarily a dismissive avoidant, and her an anxious-avoidant.
Oil and water.
The good news is that we were both a couple of months into working on our attachment styles and learned how that was the core of many of our issues.
Hopefully, you’ve followed my writing long enough to tell that it’s at the core of what I love writing about and will educate you as we all go on our conversion journey.
It has been almost two years since my journey started, and guess what? I am still a work in progress.
I don’t say that to discourage you, but it does lead me to the first takeaway that will help you on your journey.
If you are not well versed in attachment theory, find a test to take online, and it will break down your attachment mix.
look at the sky
You have to strip the shame and guilt that comes with discovering your attachment style.
Conversely, you can not sit content after finding out what is at your core.
When you discover your attachment style, you will feel different emotions.
You might feel angry and think it is all your parent’s fault and have flashbacks to all the negative experiences.
You might feel sad because of lost love and the unknown.
You might feel extremely loved and fortunate that you grew up and are a securely attached individual.
I say that to say this: you are an adult now, and while it is cliche to say, you received the cards you hold, it is up to you to change them.
I say that from the most loving place possible. Once you decide to attack your past, a better tomorrow is coming.
You are not a result of past mistakes. You are a representation of the work you are putting in now.
Be the hare
It would sound crazy if I told you changing your attachment style takes weeks.
You have to reprogram learning and an understanding of behaviors that you processed over the majority of your lifetime.
What people don’t understand about attachment is that it is more than a set of behaviors.
It is your mental framework and your attachment to those behaviors. You have expressed them the same way for so long that your mind is attached to seeing it as correct behavior.
You are self-preserving.
It is not a matter of weeks or a matter of months. It takes years to reprogram your attachment style.
I don’t say that to discourage you. I can confidently say that as you transition, you will breathe bits of fresh air with every hurdle you knock down.
It is truly a marathon and not a sprint.
Put it on the table
If you are single, dating, in a relationship, or married, one thing reigns true: talk about your attachment.
The beginning is difficult because you will feel like you are weak. The exact opposite is true.
It is empowering to have the conversation and make the changes to create the structure for a healthy relationship in the future.
Do not dwell on the fact that you are late to the party and beginning your journey. You have to start somewhere.
Look at my story. I could feel shameful that I could have saved a relationship had we known earlier.
I could take the lessons I learned, start my journey, and be comfortable talking about my transition with new partners.
You open the door for communication, vulnerability, trust, and accountability when you have healthy conversations.
I want you all to continue your journey, and if you have not started, then decide that today is the day.
I know I have not got to the people who feel securely attached and want to introduce attachment theory to their partner, but you can also decide today is the day.
Remember that this transition is not going to happen overnight. Have a deep understanding of the components of your attachment style.
Learn your triggers, how to date other attachment styles, and what is at the core of your attachment style.
We are taking this day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year.
We WILL get to the finish line together.
Dismissive avoidant: Triggers, Dating this attachment style
Fearful avoidant: Triggers, Dating this attachment style
Anxious: Triggers, Dating this attachment style
Attachment style pairings in relationships.
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